Beauty

Look good, pay less! The 10 best budget beauty buys

Great results that won't lighten your wallet.
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When you’re looking around for a great skincare routine, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with exxy options. If you don’t want to spend loads of money on products you’ll need to re-purchase a few times a year, we’ve done the homework. Here’s our top 10 brands that offer high impact results for low prices.

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Go-To Skincare

Founded by Aussie beauty guru Zoë Foster Blake, Go-To Skincare is the uncomplicated and straight-talking skincare collection that boasts a bunch of our favourite no-fuss formulas. From creams and serums to moisturisers and face masks, their products help to make your skincare routine a little easier, a little sassier and a lot more affordable.

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Nifty Fifty Hydrating Sunscreen

Nifty Fifty Hydrating Sunscreen, $45 at Go-To Skincare

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Avène

Another cult French pharmacy brand, Avène’s speciality is sensitive skin, but its products are worth exploring for all skin types – everyone’s face could use a little soothing hydration, after all. The star ingredient in all of their products? Avène Thermal Spring Water, used to treat people with skin conditions ranging from general sensitivity to psoriasis. If you want to get into skincare that feels luxe without paying a fortune, this is no doubt a brand worth trying.

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Eau Thermale Avène Thermal Spring Water (Credit: Adore Beauty)

Eau Thermale Avène Thermal Spring Water, $25.99 at Adore Beauty

Carry this in your handbag so you can give your skin a refreshing mist throughout the day.

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Olay

With a cult global following and decades worth of dermatological research, Olay continues to be one of the most trusted brands in the skincare game. Its offering of breakthrough skincare products for women of all ages partners innovative ingredients and advanced science to deliver solutions that target the root causes of skin concerns (wrinkles, puffy eyes, crepey skin tone) and all at a seriously affordable price point.

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Olay Niacinamide + AHA Moisturiser (Credit: Chemist Warehouse)

Olay Niacinamide + AHA Moisturiser, $59.99 at Chemist Warehouse

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Sand & Sky

You’re probably familiar with the Australian brand’s famous Pink Clay Mask that had us all instantly hooked, but did you know they have a whole range of skincare products made from unique Australian botanicals?

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Sand & Sky Pink Clay Mask (Credit: Adore Beauty)

Sand & Sky Pink Clay Mask, $37.90 at Adore Beauty

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Paula’s Choice

Paula’s Choice was founded with the intention of creating “smart, safe, effective, fragrance-free and cruelty-free” skincare that works. And that’s exactly what they’ve achieved, witha reasonable price tag, too. Try their Niacinamide body serum which works to even the skin tone for a youthful glow.

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Paula’s Choice 5% Niacinamide Body Serum (Credit: Paula’s Choice)

Paula’s Choice 5% Niacinamide Body Serum, $43 at Paula’s Choice

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Mario Badescu

The line behind the cult drying lotion that celebrities such as Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner and Lili Reinhart all swear by, Mario Badescu is one of the biggest and best bargain brands in the business. The brand’s products (ranging from toners to spot treatments) contain the highest quality ingredients and botanicals and offer various ways to combat problematic skin with formulas designed to create a flawless complexion.

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Mario Badescu Elasto Collagen Night Cream (Credit: Mecca)

Mario Badescu Elasto Collagen Night Cream, $30 at Mecca

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The Ordinary

If you’re after high-quality skincare that’s affordable and packed with potent ingredients, then The Ordinary is for you. With no gimmicks or marketing ploys, The Ordinary lets you know the exact ingredients that make up each product and its scientific benefits for the skin. So with research, you can find out which products are best suited to your skin type. Celebs from Olivia Rodrigo to Kim Kardashian are fans, too, so you know it’s stellar stuff.

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The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane (Credit: Adore Beauty)

The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane, $14 at Adore Beauty

Remember to only use retinol formulas in the PM as part of your evening routine.

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Frank Body

Remember the days when all you’d see on Instagram were girls showing off their coffee scrub selfies? Well, Frank Body was the very brand behind the takeover. They may be best known for their cult body scrubs (which are indeed worth the hype), but the range has now extended to include face masks, cleansers and moisturisers. The packaging also happens to scream “shelfie”, which never hurts!

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Frank Body Summer Fling Mango Scrub (Credit: Frank Body)

Frank Body Summer Fling Mango Scrub, $20 at Frank Body

Use a body scrub every 2-3 days in the shower. Grab a few handfuls and gently apply to your whole body.

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La Roche-Posay

Cult French pharmacy brand La Roche-Posay’s excellent formulations make sure there is a product for everyone. Their formulas are minimalist, meaning all the ingredients they use are limited to active concentrations of only what is essential to provide the most effective results. Suitable for all skin types, it’s easy to see why the brand is such a hit.

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La Roche-Posay Effaclar H Iso-Biome Cream (Credit: La Roche Posay)

La Roche-Posay Effaclar H Iso-Biome Cream, $33.95 at La Roche Posay

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Carbon Theory

Now over to the brand that creates affordable, anti-breakout skincare solutions that actually work. Created in the UK, Carbon Theory specialises in reinventing spot-fighting skincare. Best known for their award-winning Charcoal & Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleansing Bar, this product is flying off the shelves with one sold every 30 seconds.

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Carbon Theory Charcoal & Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleansing Bar (Credit: Look Fantastic)

Carbon Theory Charcoal & Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleansing Bar, $14.99 at Look Fantastic

To use this cult-favourite bar, simply run under warm water and rub until you create a lather. Apply to wet skin and use like a normal cleanser.

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Manicare

Australia’s #1 Beauty Tools Brand, Manicare is the perfect place to start stocking up on skincare and beauty tools. With hundreds of products and affordable prices, the brand offers everything from nail-care solutions to eyebrow spoolies and press on nails! 

manicare air cushion sponge duo

ManiCare Air Cushion Sponge Duo, $16.99 at Chemist Warehouse

The ManicareAir Cushion Sponge Duo set is made from luxuriously soft material, designed to create a flawless, smooth natural finish. Whether used damp or dry, with liquid, cream, or powder foundations, they offer maximum product pick up and transfer to skin.

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